"Muse of Fire" is the seventh episode of the first season of Arrow. It aired on November 28th, 2012.
While on her way to meet Oliver, Moira is almost gunned down by a mysterious assailant who was attempting to assassinate an associate of mob boss Frank Bertinelli. Oliver attempts to infiltrate Frank's business to discover the identity of the attacker. Frank confronts China White and the Triad gang for the murders of his people. Oliver learns that the attacker is Helena Bertinelli, Frank's daughter, with whom he had just been on a date. Helena reveals that she is looking for revenge against her father, who she blames for the murder of her fiancé. Helena and Oliver are abducted by Frank's right-hand man, Nick Salvati, in connection to the deaths of other mob associates; Helena kills Nick after learning he killed her fiancé. She also deduces Oliver's identity as the vigilante after witnessing him fight her father's henchmen. In the end, Helena confesses to Oliver that she believes that they both share similar stories and that is why they feel connected to each other. Meanwhile, Tommy is cut off financially by his father, who turns out to be the unknown associate that Moira was meeting with regarding the target list. Walter returns home after being away for weeks.
After a 'phone call from Thea reminding him that he is supposed to be having lunch with his mother, Oliver goes to meet her on his motorcycle. Moira and a man named Paul Copani emerge from Queen Consolidated. Copani wants Moira to go over a building contact, but she doesn't want to do business with him. Suddenly another motorcycle drives up on the sidewalk and the rider shoots Copani several times in the chest with an automatic pistol. After checking that Moira wasn't hit, Oliver chases the motorcyclist on foot and is almost able to catch up with it before a passing truck interferes and the shooter escapes cleanly.
Moira hit her head during the event and is treated at the hospital by Dr. Lamb for a concussion. Thea has been unable to reach Walter by phone. In the hospital hallway, Thea doesn't seem to believe that Oliver left their mother to get the number of the killer's license plate. Detectives Quentin Lance and Lucas Hilton arrive at the hospital soon after, and Oliver tells them that he wants his mother to get some security, but Lance doesn't think it's necessary since the guy she was talking to was mob-connected, and he is certain that Copani must have been the target.
Tommy Merlyn drops by to visit Laurel with Chinese food. He wants to ask her out on a proper date at some time in the near future, and they discuss the on-again, off-again nature of their relationship.
While Oliver trains at the hideout, Diggle suggests that he take some time off, given the recent events. Oliver tells Diggs that Copani worked for a man named Frank Bertinelli. Publicly, Frank is CEO of a major construction company, but he is a major player in the Starling City Mafia, and Copani is the third associate to fall to this assassin's bullets. Oliver wants to go undercover and get close to Frank to figure out what is going on. He says he thinks his sister is right to think he's not being honest, as he can't tell them he's fast enough to nearly catch a motorcycle on foot. His goal now is to protect his family.
We see the motorcycle driver arrive at a garage and removes the helmet; revealing a dark haired woman, the Huntress. She draws an X through a photo of Copani on a corkboard full of photos, and smiles.
Thea is preparing to leave Queen Manor for a night on the town. Oliver tells her he will not be able to relieve her as previously planned, as something important has come up. As Thea is expressing her annoyance, Tommy drops by to ask about Moira. He also tells him about dating Laurel. Oliver wishes the best for the both of them.
Oliver drops by the Bertinelli Estate where Frank introduces his caporegime Nick Salvati, and as they go to have a drink and discuss business, Oliver spots the woman motorcyclist at the top of the stairs.
During a girls' night in with Moira, Thea expresses displeasure at Oliver's recent behavior. Moira suggests that they give him the benefit of the doubt. Spending five years apart from civilization probably changed him, they should try to accept him for who he is now.
Bertinelli says he wants the building contract for Queen Consolidated's Applied Sciences division as Nick leaves to take a phone call. Moira had obviously been telling him no, but Oliver says he's leaning the other way. The Huntress walks into the room and is introduced as Bertinelli's daughter, Helena. Bertinelli needs to leave for a quick meeting... the phone call to Nick... and asks Helena to take Oliver out for dinner. She's reluctant, bitterly accusing her father of "pimping out your daughter" and calling Queen "the rich man's Lindsay Lohan," but after being reminded that the family business is dying, she ultimately agrees.
Frank and Nick meet with Starling City Triad's Red Pole Enforcer, Zhishan, with China White serving as his interpreter. They say they are not responsible for the attacks on his people, but Bertinelli promises that if they don't stop now, "I'm coming for you." After they leave, Nick asks his boss what the Triad would have to gain by coming after him, but Frank says that no one has ever credited the Triad with rational thinking, and doesn't think anyone else is powerful enough to threaten him.
Lance and Hilton are listening to this exchange. They wonder if another organized crime family is responsible, but Lance points out the last shooting was not done by a pro.
At dinner, Helena asks Oliver why his family would want to be in business with her father. She clearly is not dealing well with the pressure of her family. She asks Oliver about being alone on the island, and was there ever a time when he just felt "free." He admits that there were many times like that.
Tommy and Laurel go to an Indian restaurant for dinner, and Tommy expresses his desire for a fresh start between the two of them. The waiter returns, saying that Tommy's credit card has been declined, and he has been ordered to confiscate it.
Oliver comments on a cross Helena is wearing. It is was a gift from her deceased fiancé, Michael Staton. They are hitting it off when Diggs calls him with word he has to leave. As he excuses himself, Helena warns him to be careful dealing with her father.
Malcolm Merlyn drops by to see Moira in her bedroom. He's there to make sure her convictions haven't changed based on recent events and she assures him they have not.
Diggs pulled Oliver out of his dinner because Nick has been going around town violently anyone who owes Bertinelli protection money. The next potential victim is the owner of Russo's, the restaurant where he had dinner with Helena. Nick and an associate are looking for a second payment for the month. Just before they can break the fingers of Russo and his wife Jenny, both Arrow and the Huntress show up to thwart the criminals. In the ensuing fracas, Nick escapes and Arrow and Huntress end up fighting each other. Near the end of the fight, Arrow pulls off her helmet and sees who she is. Helena rushes off, with Arrow ultimately choosing to let her go.
Back at the hideout, Oliver is adamant that Helena must have a good reason for targeting her family. Diggs isn't interested in her reasons, just that she's a killer, who will start a mob war if she isn't stopped. Oliver insists he knows what he's doing, but Diggs doesn't believe him.
Looking through security footage of the night of the fight, Lance and a CSU technician spot Queen having dinner with Helena. He drops by Queen Manor and tells him to stay away from Helena. Lance thinks he's repaying Oliver for almost getting him killed a few weeks back.
Tommy visits his father and demands to know why he has been cut off. Malcolm calls his son "a joke that is no longer funny" and says he's tired of Tommy's "chronic irresponsibility and terminal laziness," so he is yanking away his trust fund and freezing all his assets.
Queen follows Helena to Michael's grave. She says that losing him changed her. Her love for him turned to a hate that she cannot let go of. As she tells Oliver to stay away from her, Nick pulls up and loads them both into a van at gunpoint.
Oliver and Helena are taken to an abandoned warehouse and tied up. Nick tells Helena that he knows that she has betrayed the family, as he found her crucifix at Russo's. Helena reveals she wanted revenge on her father for ordering Michael's death. Nick reveals that Michael was an informant for the FBI, he found his laptop with evidence that would have destroyed the family if the Feds had gotten hold of it. Helena says it was her laptop, and denounces her father as a monster. Nick taunts her by revealing that he shot Michael in the heart, his personal calling card, and now he will kill her the same way. Before he can pull the trigger, Oliver breaks free of his restraints and tackles Nick. While Nick staggers to his feet, his goons attack Oliver. Helena breaks free of her own restraints and savagely attacks Nick. As Oliver disposes of his opponents, Nick tells Helena that she will "burn in hell" for what she has done, and Helena tells him that it will be worth it, before snapping his neck. When Oliver looks at her questioningly, she replies "I didn't have a choice, Oliver. No one can know my secret!"
Lance and Hilton review security footage of the fight. Both of them have ruled out Arrow as a suspect, but Lance is concerned Bertinelli will think the Triad was behind the killings of Nick and his thugs and "start World War III."
Tommy goes to see Laurel and tells her that all of his assets has been frozen, he has consequently lost his car and his apartment. She thinks he'll be fine.
Walter arrives in town and shows up at Moira's side. He says he's there because he misses her.
Thea apologizes to Oliver for chewing him out at the hospital, saying she's just worried about him. She understands the need for secrets, but he needs to find someone he can share them with.
Oliver sneaks into Helena's apartment. She's figured out that he's Arrow after seeing his fighting style. He tells her that what she's doing is revenge rather than justice. She thinks they're the same. He disagrees, but they both feel relieved to finally be able to open up to somebody. Oliver and Helena share a long, deep kiss.
Preparation ran from September 5 until September 13, 2012. Shooting ran from September 14 till September 25, 2012.
- This is the first episode to not feature the flashback scenes of Oliver on the island.